Match Preview: Sunderland vs Newcastle UnitedBy: Daniel | January 15th, 2011
Alan Pardew will get his first taste of a Tyne-Wear derby tomorrow when his Newcastle United side travel the short distance of 14 miles to the Stadium of Light to take of a bitter Steve Bruce and his Sunderland side.
The reverse fixture of this match was the famous 5-1 drubbing the Magpies handed Sunderland on Halloween at St. James Park. That day Sunderland were overpowered by Newcastle’s mixture of direct and short build up play and ultimately fell short of the huge occasion leaving many of their fans heading for the exits and half time.
Consequently, Bruce has had numerous press conferences in which he has stated the days left to the derby and sarcastically commented with ‘not that I’m counting or anything’. Bruce may also take his very nervous self to new levels when announcing that Newcastle lacked class for playing a rendition of ‘Cheer up sleepy Jean’ at the end of the game when United won but then ironically stated he would be doing a similar thing if Sunderland win.
Bruce’s pre-match press conferences have put a lot of onus on his side to gain all three points on Sunday, however is this pressure justified? Sunderland come into the game on the back of two wins in a row in the Premier League however did have a set back when being defeated by Nott’s County at home in the FA Cup.
Newcastle also faced a set back in the FA Cup, losing to League Two side Stevenage in a fixture which also proved costly as it meant Chiek Tiote would miss tomorrows game due to suspension. However, United are also coming into the game on good form in the Premier League with a 1-0 away victory against Wigan Athletic and a 5-0 drubbing of West Ham United.
Newcastle, as mentioned above, will be missing midfield phenom Chiek Tiote and also missing talisman and number 9 Andy Carroll due to a thigh injury. News also emerged that Steven Taylor wont be able to recover from a hamstring injury in time for the Derby either. Mike Williamson is expected to deputise. Rested for the cup ties Shola Ameobi, Jose Enrique and Jonas Gutierrez are reported to be available. Reports in the Daily Mail claiming that Shola twisted his ankle yesterday in training and may be doubtful and still to be confirmed. Danny Gosling is also in contention after coming through 70 minutes of a reserve game against Hibs.
Sunderland are also facing a depleted line up on Sunday. They will be missing Lee Cattermole, Nedum Onuoha , David Meyler, Michael Turner,Jordan Cook, John Mensah, Frazier Campbell, and Danny Welbeck. Bruce stated in an earlier press conference that Cattermole, Welbeck and Onuoha had a chance of being fit. However,Welbeck was giving a three week return date last week so seems unlikely and Cattermole is also expect to be a week or so away. Onuoha ,however, may be able to pull through.
Sunderland, are desperate to win, they want revenge. Newcastle, on the other hand, are keeping calm, collected and not making huge promises. The latter being the better pre-match tactic, in my opinion.
Likely line up’s:
Newcastle: Harper; Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Enrique; Barton, Smith, Nolan, Jonas; Best, Ameobi.
Sunderland: Gordon, Onouha, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Bramble, Henderson, Elmohamady, Richardson, Malbranque, Bent, Gyan.
Enjoy the game.